Theme 2012: World Heritage

Every year on 18 April, ICOMOS celebrates the “International Day for Monuments and Sites”, whose establishment was approved by the 22nd UNESCO General Conference in 1983. The theme for 2012 is World Heritage in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.

Aim of the International Day

The aim of the International Day for Monuments and Sites is to encourage local communities and individuals throughout the world to consider the importance of cultural heritage to their lives, identities and communities, and to promote awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it.

2012 Theme: World Heritage

On 16 November 1972 the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the ‘Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage’. This was the culmination of a process initiated several years before and, at the same time, the starting point of a new phase in the field of identification, protection and conservation of heritage.

The World Heritage Convention is considered the most successful of all the UNESCO conventions: ICOMOS has played a prominent role in the implementation of the Convention; together with IUCN and ICCROM they constitute the three Advisory Bodies of the World Heritage Committee.

For the fortieth anniversary of the Convention, States Parties and Advisory Bodies were invited to reflect on its future, to recognise its successes and growing complexity, identify global strategic issues, key challenges, trends and opportunities and develop possible approaches, including synergies with other international instruments.

The importance of the active participation of local communities in the World Heritage process is evident in the theme chosen by the World Heritage Committee for the 40th anniversary celebration of the Convention: ‘World Heritage and sustainable development: the role of local communities’.

Read more about the theme in the attached ICOMOS background article.

Events and activities

18 April is celebrated all over the world by a wide range of organisations and many ICOMOS National and International Scientific Committees.

Events include scientific conferences and symposia, exhibitions, photography competitions, excursions, press conferences, the awarding of prizes, releasing press releases, publishing magazine articles, projecting films etc.

Please inform the ICOMOS International Secretariat on any activities you are undertaking to celebrate the day and this year’s theme, so that we can include it on the special web page as soon as possible.Please send us information on your activities in electronic format to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (please mention 18 April in the email header) and preferably in the following format : Committee / Date / Place / Title of event and a web link or attached publishable PDF with information on the event.




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